Karachi blasts: Pakistan flag flies at half mast

Published: March 4, 2013
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Residents gather in front of a damaged building after a bomb blast in a residential area, a day earlier, in Karachi March 4, 2013.  PHOTO: REUTERS

Residents gather in front of a damaged building after a bomb blast in a residential area, a day earlier, in Karachi March 4, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Twin blasts in Karachi brought most areas of the country to a standstill on Monday with strikes being observed while the national flag flew at half mast, Express News reported.

A powerful blast ripped though Abbas Town in Karachi on Sunday evening, leaving 48 people dead and over 150 injured. The explosion took place in a street lined with apartment buildings and myriad small shops on both sides.

Around 200 flats were affected, while 50 of them were completely destroyed by the fire which followed the blasts. The residents were compelled to move to their relatives’ houses.

The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) continued with their operation Monday morning to find more evidence from the blast site.

Transport, businesses, educational institutes and petrol pump remained closed in Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Sukkur and Jacobabad. The Punjab government also called for a one-day mourning to be observed today.

On Monday, the stock market was open, but Mohammad Sohail of brokerage firm Topline Securities said there were fewer dealers and trading volumes were low.

The strike in Karachi was called by Jafaria Alliance and was supported by several political parties including Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F), PML-Quaid, and Sunni Tehreek.

Local transport and traders’ associations said that they would not be working on Monday. “There will be no public transport on the roads today,” said Karachi Transporters Association chief Irshad Bokhari.

Head of the Karachi Traders’ Alliance, Attique Mir also said that shopping centres and malls as well as business activity would remain suspended.

Lawyers of Sindh Bar Council and Punjab Bar Council also announced a strike and boycotted activities in several courts. The Lahore High Court will only hear important cases.

Three-day mourning was also announced by Shia parties including Jafaria Alliance, Majlis-e-Wehdat-e-Muslimeen, Shia Ulema Council and Quetta Yakjheti Council.

Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Sahibzada Fazal Karim, while speaking to Express News, said that terrorists with an international agenda are in power and are challenging the government’s writ.

Stressing on a crackdown against such elements, Karim said the terrorists want Pakistan to disintegrate. “If there is no concentrated effort against them, situation will not improve,” he added.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Sharjeel Memon said the people of Pakistan have failed the terrorists by keeping calm. He said the terrorists want to instigate violence between the two sects.

The PPP leader further lamented the fact that the “enemies are in disguise and are a part of us.”

Police are preparing a list of those killed and are trying to identify the dead with the help of their relatives.

Camps for blood and money donation have been set up in different parts of the city to facilitate those affected by the blasts.

CM takes notice

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah took notice of the incident and formed a six-member investigation team, which will present its report in three days.

The chief minister also announced Rs1.5 million in compensation for families of those killed in the blasts, and one million rupees for the injured. He also announced a reward of Rs5 million for anyone who assists the police in identifying or locating the suspects involved in the act.

The Sindh governor promised that the government will rebuild the homes and the shops destroyed in the blast.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Voice of D.I.Khan
    Mar 4, 2013 - 10:34AM

    All Machinery is involved in this Brutal Shia Genocide :(

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  • pakistani
    Mar 4, 2013 - 10:55AM

    keep shut the whole Karachi till the arrest of killers

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  • allgoing
    Mar 4, 2013 - 11:17AM

    Democracy is taking revenge.

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  • Arcane
    Mar 4, 2013 - 11:28AM

    @pakistani:

    It’s just going to hurt poor. Closing down city is not the answer only poor daily wage labour suffers.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 4, 2013 - 11:38AM

    @allgoing:
    These terrorist acts are not because of democracy but despite of. For 66 long years Pakistan has been made and run as an Islamic state on the slogan that we are Muslims and cannot live with other religions. Not because of Islam but despite of Islam we have become a violent and terrorist nation. It is not the revenge of Islam but our own doings.
    Regards,
    M

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  • harry stone
    Mar 4, 2013 - 11:43AM

    it would seem some are more pure than others in the land of the pure.

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  • rsk
    Mar 4, 2013 - 12:13PM

    Nothing wrong in mourning due to attack in Karachi by militants. But why is this double standards as there is never such mourn when attacked in frontier provinces ?.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Mar 4, 2013 - 12:20PM

    PPP Government at the end of its tenure must admit the fact that it has terribly failed to control law and order situation in the country.

    What was the use of such government when it cannot protect the lives and properties of the ordinary citizens?

    Yet, again with all the failure, it has plans to contest the forth coming election on the basis of its poor performance.

    I can see that it is written on the wall PPP will not be able to make its government any more in the future.

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  • aysha
    Mar 4, 2013 - 12:36PM

    so much for half mast, there should be local policing in Karachi and appropriate police to population ratio, if this is not done, Karachites should know that those who have the authority are not interested in their security. The people who are voted into power by the people of Karachi are never given enough authority to impact any real change.

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  • Something Clever
    Mar 4, 2013 - 12:56PM

    @allgoing:
    Yes, things like this are the result of a system that is simply intended to give “the people” a powerful position in a country. It just can’t be the fault of those who actually did it. That would make too much sense. Everyone knows blowing people up like that is the natural response to many things.
    Not only does you placing blame on it not make sense, it’s completely irrelevant. There are plenty of other things to blame… Like the actual causes. It might even help a little since you can’t really fix things if you refuse to acknowledge the reality of it. It amounts to protesting in front of a government building while a terrorist starts shooting you in the back but somehow is completely ignored.

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  • vish
    Mar 4, 2013 - 1:20PM

    @harry stone:

    In search of pure-more pure and more pure, people from the land of pure are being sent to more pure world so that, more people with pure thoughts can reside in land of pure, pure ha ha pure ha ha ha pure ha ha ha ha ….. goes on and on and on finally results in the form of thick necked animal.

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  • allgoing
    Mar 4, 2013 - 1:24PM

    @Mirza: Pakistan is always ruled by non-mullahs.

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  • Pr0udPakistani
    Mar 4, 2013 - 1:25PM

    this happens when you have identity crisis. Majority of the people don’t believe in being Pakistani first and muslim second rather they believe in opposite. and then there is a debate who is the better muslim. and of course there is no room for non-muslim pakistanis. whoever doing this has bigger plans for destruction as its not about shia-sunni. and people of Pakistan must understand that it’s ‘pakistanis’ who are dying not a shia, sunni, muhajir, punjabi, balochi, sindhi etc. sadly the government and agencies are just playing the role of spectators.

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  • Parvez
    Mar 4, 2013 - 1:40PM

    …….at the same time a prominent PPP lady of Karachi was having her wedding ‘ bash ‘ at the Mohta Palace reportedly attended by the PM ……………….. Nero fiddles while Karachi burns.

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  • ATULSRIVASTAVA
    Mar 4, 2013 - 2:24PM

    PAKISTANI FLAG SHOULD PERMANENTLY FLY HALF MAST.

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  • Raza Khan
    Mar 4, 2013 - 2:47PM

    Situation will go from bad to worse! As what we have seen in recent years. It’s not the PPP who is to be blamed but our establishment policies who created these monsters. Several times these monsters knocked at the doors of their masters like attack on GHQ, Mehran base, PAC, Kamra, Peshawer air base & several others. We need to eliminate these monsters instead of talking to them as suggested by our political parties including the establishment. Best would be to hand over all powers to these terrorists so they can impose their type of Islam on the country.

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  • Zabandraz
    Mar 4, 2013 - 3:05PM

    Where are the Intlligence Services??? Why are they sleeping all the time??? There is a pro active way to tackle terrorism but our govt. only acts ( by announcing youm-e-soug and compensation for the dead,)

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  • shockrange
    Mar 4, 2013 - 3:06PM

    @Parvez: Nero’s kept changing since mid-80’s, the city kept burning. so sad

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  • Adnan
    Mar 4, 2013 - 3:21PM

    What is the point of flag on the half mast, when the security forces of the nation of this flag were busy protecting so called VVIPs while they entertain and in that very city and nation people were left helpless to burn to die and to be homeless. The people of this nation die each day in tens and hundreds and our leaders are busy protecting their seats of power, which apparently they call ‘Democracy’. They pride that they have protected this (sham) democracy for five years and they deserve medals and they are getting medals every day. Every innocent Pakistani’s blood is medal for them, however it is not on their chest, it’s on their neck!!!

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  • pakistani shias
    Mar 4, 2013 - 4:16PM

    I never thought I will say about my beloved country but it is btrue. We are a failed country even educated people are working against minorities. Showering rose petals on all my countrymen before i leave this country.

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  • 26/11 mumbai
    Mar 4, 2013 - 4:40PM

    Your country is a terror state. Best terror exporter of the world. So enjoy your exported problem.

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  • Stranger
    Mar 4, 2013 - 5:46PM

    Thats unfair you see. whoever does whatever whenever , they blame the Taliban first. Did any one investigate these bombings. Does any one have proof that the Taliban did it ?

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  • B
    Mar 5, 2013 - 12:25AM

    Pakistan also flies white flag to Talibans.

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